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AdSense PowerUser Edition

Please Google... Please!

     
12:38 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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OK if you've all read the latest Adsesne blog post you'll hear that they explain really BASIC info that any webmaster who even considers making a site should know already. what is this? what is this program i am participating in?

it really has just got worse over the years. in the beginning there was some exclusivity, but now the general web surfers' ad blindness seem to be very, very high thanks to all these crappy blogger MFA sites.

i really believe they should offer a special edition with more tools for us who know what we are doing. but of course nobody listens to me, especially not google.

some of the most major things to fix:

* an open log format and access to these so we can do whatever we want and put together our own stats (if they are too lazy to do it themselves). this doesn't need to tell any privacy information like IP or so, but maybe a hash number or something. those who get what im talking about will understand.

* blocking of entire accounts, wildcards in domain blockage and per-domain settings for everything instead of per-account.

* ability to centre and blend the "ads by google" text and the ability to choose exactly what it should say (out of a few alternatives, of course): "ads by google", "ads by goooooooooogle" (who's gonna choose that one?) or G image.

* ability to display ONLY non-animated image ads and ONLY video ads or ONLY image ads.

* ability to decide if you want to display only 1/4 or 2/4 ad units. this makes things look ugly at time as it currently stands.

and the list goes one... are they ever gonna do this? will there ever be a viable alternative to adsense?

come on.

12:40 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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oh, and the most important one:

* server side adsense.

3:50 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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As I look back I realize the content side of Adsense was never about quality, it was always only about quantity.

In the very begining AdWords advertisers could not opt out of the content side (thus the launch of content Adsense had an instant large inventory). This wasn't a decision that was in the best interest of AdWords participants, it was a volume thing which meant instant cash for Google.

Once you get accepted and have a Adsense publisher account you can place Adsense on any site without any sort of approval. This is because Google is more concerned about the quantity of of ads served as opposed to the quality of the sites on which they are served. Google turns a blind eye to MFA pages where there is no link to click other than an Adsense ad because a click is a click to them.

The "Adsense Heat Map", Adsense advice on blending ad colors, and AdLinks are all about quantity of clicks (in this case confused visitors clicking on items they assume are a part of the site navitagion rather than ads).

Google can't turn this into a "quality" program because they're making too much money. They can't or don't want to afford what it would take to clean this program up. Google and Adsense will never be about quality, only volume.

4:37 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Broadway: sadly, i think you're right. but why doesn't anyone step up and give us serious webmasters a better alternative?
5:29 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Broadway: sadly, i think you're right. but why doesn't anyone step up and give us serious webmasters a better alternative?

It's a chicken and egg thing. You need a lot of publishers to attract advertisers and you need a lot of advertisers to attract publishers. Not many will try a program lacking with one of them. That leaves with the existing major internet companies like Yahoo or MSN, but apparently, it's also very complicated since it's taking them an eternity to come up with a competing product.

6:47 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There ARE alternatives. I'm pretty sure I already told you I earn more from affiliate programs than from AdSense. However it requires work on your part to succeed in that field.

If you can't make anything else work, then get down on your hands and knees and thank God that AdSense is there for you. I can't fathom how anybody could post how Google is by far the best sponsor available for their site, and simultaneously be constantly angry with them because they're not even better.

7:16 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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are they ever gonna do this?

Adsense contributes 10% to Google's bottom line. Probably they are in for the revenues nowadays, not for the profit. We should thank them that they do not "focus on core company strategy" (which is certainly to develop Google property) and abandon Adsense.

Maybe they have a small team working on Adsense, but with just 10% of the profits, I guess this team gets just 10% of the resources at best. Implementing big improvements might be difficult, especially when you throw in the strategic conflict (Adwords rules, not Adsense).

10:06 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> Probably they are in for the revenues nowadays, not for the profit.

excuse me, but what is the difference between revenue and profit?

11:59 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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They can solve so many abuse problems by looking at four issues: 1) age of domains; 2) rate of domains added to account; 3) total number of domains in account; 4) total number of pages on sites.

Apply the same or similar SERP principles to Adsense profiles. Unnatural growth rates, the common denominator of MFAs, red flag. Fifty new sites in one month, red flag. Etc., etc., and so on and so forth.

Each account holder must note the age of each new domain added. Google automatically checks it. Fraud is a TOS violation.

As an Adsenser, I'd like control over the advertisers based on domain age.

[X] Block domains reg'd in last six months.

:/

[X] Block domains of accounts with more than one domain.

[X] Block domains of sites with Adsense.

[X] Block domains of sites with whois privacy.

</Fantasy Adsense Control Panel>

p/g

12:22 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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excuse me, but what is the difference between revenue and profit?

Revenue = Money that you collect from a customer, before cost

Profit = Money that is left over, once you have paid the bills (i.e. after cost)

Google might make 40% of their revenue (roughly) from Adsense, but as they pay out 75% (again, roughly) to the webmasters participating in the Adsense program, they see just 40% x 25% = 10% profit of it, while 90% of their profit comes from other sources (most of it from running ads on Google property, I guess).

Again, given the administrative effort (Support! MFAs! Bad credit! Bad publicity! Click-fraud!) I could imagine that Google might not be too happy with the efficiency of the Adsense program. Just thinking in terms of "contribution to bottom line" (profitability).

Think about it this way: A group of programmers working on Google property is nine times more efficient than the same group working on Adsense. Google property creates nine times more value than the Adsense program.

As I said, I guess that Google focuses on Google property, because it is so much more profitable, and uses Adsense just to shine up the earnings reports in terms of (advertising) revenue. And sure, if the program runs smoothly without big efforts, a 25% margin is not bad. :-)

They'd also might keep the Adsense program for strategic reasons, e.g. to monitor trends in web advertising and content. And it further promotes the brand name throughout the web. But from a pure profitability point-of-view, Google has better ways to generate profit.

12:34 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> Each account holder must note the age of each new domain added.
> Google automatically checks it. Fraud is a TOS violation.

if they can automatically check it, why have people enter it?

> [X] Block domains of accounts with more than one domain.

huh?! why?

12:52 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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p/g, those criteria define a massive number of legitimate businesses, many paying good cpc. You'd be killing your own revenue by banning anyone who doesnt have a single site.
1:18 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What is the obsession with percentages in this forum, sheez. You don't bank percentages.

Come on, 10% of Google's profit is a huge amount. How can anyone say that that about $US300-400 million profit per year is not significant?

3:26 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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darkmage,

sure - to us humble webmasters, such amounts are the ultimate uber-goal.

However, in Google's accounting sheet it's just a tiny drop. All I am saying is that I think they actually keep the program running, because there are several valid reasons for it (and yes, the change money it generates is certainly one of the reasons).

But in any business you typically assign resources according to their contribution to the bottom line. E.g. if a department generates 80% of the overall cost but just contributes 20% to the bottom line, you probably see "cost saving measures" any time soon. Thus, 20% of the bottom line translates to 20% of the resources.

For Adsense, this means that Adsense IN TOTAL has probably fewer resources available than, say, products that belong to Google property. And Adsense has not just programmers. They also have support staff, marketing, etc etc. So the actual developer resources are somewhat limited, which is one of the reasons why we are seeing so little progress.

3:49 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't know whether 10% is the correct figure for AdSense, but that represents much more than a drop in the bucket -- in fact a multibillion dollar business in its own right. Certainly nothing that Google could walk away from.

But I kind of agree that the business serves even more important purposes. Namely, tieing up advertisers and publishers that otherwise would go elsewhere. This could allow Yahoo or MSN or some new competitor to genuinely threaten the dominance of Google's reach.

4:41 pm on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I admit that it is more than 10%. Actually it is twenty-ish (22%). :-)

[investor.google.com...]

Just look at the key highlights.

A very rough calculation gives:

Google property / Google partners 
Revenue : 1.980B / 1.200B
Cost : 1.169B / 0.976B
Profit : 0.811B / 0.224B
Total profit : 1.035B
Profit Share : 78% / 22%

I accounted "Other cost of revenues" and "Operating Expenses" fully to "Google Property", but certainly Adsense uses some of the resources (servers, staff, star chefs at the restaurant, the Googleplex etc etc). But heck, Adsense still just contributes 22% to the bottom line. No wonder they are focusing on Google property!

 

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